The asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs around 66 million years ago was believed to be up to 10 miles wide. While asteroids of that size hitting Earth are extremely rare, another major collision is inevitable. NASA has made great strides in discovering near-Earth objects that are over one kilometre in size, with 90 percent now accounted for.
However, that means there are still 10 percent of dangerous asteroids that have not been spotted.
While the chances of a major asteroid hitting Earth are small – NASA believes there is a one-in-300,000 chance every year that a space rock which could cause regional damage will hit – the devastating prospect is not impossible.
And when it does hit Earth, it could spell the end of humanity.
Physicist Rob van den Berg wrote on Q&A site Quora: “Small asteroids are of course pretty harmless, they evaporate in the atmosphere before they reach the ground.
“If they do reach the ground they don’t do all that much damage (compared to what they can do). Sure, it will cost a lot to repair all the windows, but it’s extremely unlikely to actually get hit by one (as far as I know, only two recorded cases of that in all our history).
“The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs had a size of about 10 miles and such impacts only happen every several million years (since this particular one was the last, it has been 65 million years now).
“But no matter how small the chance of it happening in our lifetime, it is pretty much destined that another big one will eventually hit Earth again, some time in the future.”
However, NASA has said that a much smaller asteroid still has the ability to cause chaos on the planet.
The space agency said a space rock of just a kilometre wide has the potential to case chaos across the planet.
NASA said: “An individual’s chance of being killed by a meteorite is small, but the risk increases with the size of the impacting comet or asteroid, with the greatest risk associated with global catastrophes resulting from impacts of objects larger than 1 kilometre.”
However, the space agency moved to reassure frightened minds, stating that it is not predicting a major asteroid strike of that size for several centuries.
The space boffins said: “NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small. In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years.”
Scientists find evidence of multiple underground lakes on Mars – Yahoo News Canada
The team used data from a radar instrument on the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft to investigate the planet’s southern polar region. Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding or MARSIS, as the instrument is called, is capable of sending out radio waves that bounce off materials on the planet’s surface. Different materials reflect those signals differently, and the same technique is used to find subsurface glacial lakes here on Earth.
Upon observing an area that’s around 75,000 square kilometers in size, they found locations that reflected those signals back in a way that indicates the presence of water trapped underneath a kilometer of ice. The main lake, the one discovered back in 2018, measures 30 kilometers or 19 miles across, while each of the three smaller lakes surrounding it are a few kilometers across.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="While the scientists’ findings are promising, some experts still believe we won’t find lakes on the red planet at all. Jack Holt, a planetary scientist part of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter program, doesn’t believe there’s enough heat flow under the surface of the planet for water to remain liquid. And even if we do find liquid water under Martian ice, that won’t automatically mean we’ll also find life. See, the lakes have to be very salty to remain liquid, but their salt content must not exceed five times that of seawater to be able to support life. As John Priscu, an environmental scientist at Montana State University, told Nature:” data-reactid=”27″>While the scientists’ findings are promising, some experts still believe we won’t find lakes on the red planet at all. Jack Holt, a planetary scientist part of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter program, doesn’t believe there’s enough heat flow under the surface of the planet for water to remain liquid. And even if we do find liquid water under Martian ice, that won’t automatically mean we’ll also find life. See, the lakes have to be very salty to remain liquid, but their salt content must not exceed five times that of seawater to be able to support life. As John Priscu, an environmental scientist at Montana State University, told Nature:
“There’s not much active life in… briny pools in Antarctica. They’re just pickled. And that might be the case [on Mars].”
'Most extreme planet discovered': Scientists find blistering exoplanet with temperatures near 3,200C – National Post
As the study of planets outside our solar system continues, astronomers have discovered what they have described as the ‘most extreme planet’ ever observed, with surface temperatures more blistering than those of some stars.
Researchers at the University of Bern say that the exoplanet, dubbed WASP-189b, is a gaseous giant 1.6 times larger than Jupiter and can record temperatures of up to 3,200 degrees Celsius, hot enough enough to met all rocks and metal and turn them into gaseous form.
The planet, they said, orbits the star HD 133112, known to be one of the hottest stars with a planetary system 2,000 degrees Celsius hotter than our Sun.
Despite being an enormous gaseous giant, WASP-189b is situated much closer to its star than Jupiter is to the sun, and so only take 2.7 days to orbit its star, with one side experiencing a permanent ‘night’ and the other a permanent ‘day’.
“WASP-189b is especially interesting because it is a gas giant that orbits very close to its host star,” astrophysicist Monika Lendl said, according to the university’s press release. “It takes less than three days for it to circle its star, and it is 20 times closer to it than Earth is to the Sun.”
A coronavirus ‘game changer’: Canadian company claims it can detect virus in the air – Global News
Nova Scotia reported one new case of coronavirus on Wednesday, after it was identified the day before.
The province said the new case is in the Northern Zone and is related to travel outside of Canada. The individual has been self-isolating as required, the province said.
Two active cases of COVID-19 remain in the province as of Wednesday, with Nova Scotia Health’s labs having completed 870 Nova Scotia tests the day prior.
When can Canadians expect a COVID-19 vaccine?
To date, Nova Scotia has 94,414 negative test results, 1,088 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths.
One person is currently hospitalized in ICU.
According to the province, 1,021 cases are now considered resolved.
The province’s health officials urge anyone currently experiencing a fever or cough to visit the 811 website to see if an assessment is needed.
If anyone experiences two or more of the following symptoms, they should ask if an assessment is needed:
- sore throat
- runny nose
- shortness of breath
Nova Scotia granted three-quarters of all COVID-19 exemption requests between March and July
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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